The Columbus Blue Jackets and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced that there would be five changes to the front office for the 2019-2020 NHL season. A lot of these changes were expected with the former president of hockey operations John Davidson leaving Columbus to take the same position with the New York Rangers. The most notable of these changes is the addition of Rick Nash.
Front Office Changes Include Rick Nash
Nash will be joining the front office as a special assistant to the general manager. The former Blue Jacket star and captain still lives in Columbus and was seen with management throughout the last part of the season. The fact that they brought him back to the organization comes as no surprise.
Nash is not the only former player mentioned in the changes. Chris Clark joined the club in 2012 when he became a player development coach. Clark is getting promoted to the director of player development. As a player, Clark had a career total of 214 points in 617 games. Of his 214 points, 20 points came in his 89 games with the Blue Jacket.
Basil McRae is the third of the five changes. McRae became the director of player personnel for the club three seasons ago. Now he has been promoted to assistant general manager. McRae has been in this position before, just not in the NHL. He was the general manager and alternate governor for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Josh Flynn has also been promoted to assistant general manager. Flynn has been with the club for 10 seasons, before this promotion he was the director of hockey administration. In that role, Flynn focused on mostly the money aspects of the game. Things such as the salary cap, contract negotiations, and salary arbitration.
The last change may be the least surprising. Bill Zito was promoted to senior vice president of hockey operations. He was hired as the assistant general manager in 2013 when Kekalainen and Davidson were brought in to run the organization. Zito played a big part in the scouting, contracts, and player development for the club. He will continue to do this just under a different title.
The Blue Jackets were left with a big hole to fill when Davidson left for the Rangers job. It seems like the organization thinks that the gap can be filled from within. This appears to be a safe bet based on how this regime has seemed to turn the franchise around.
GLENDALE, AZ – APRIL 03: Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets in action during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on April 3, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)